2006 Pontiac Vibe

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2006 Pontiac Vibe. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    28-33 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    126-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance of GT
  • Kinship to Toyota Matrix
  • Optional side-curtain airbags
  • Available StabiliTrak stability system

The Bad

  • Instrument layout
  • Engine noise

Notable Features of the 2006 Pontiac Vibe

  • Sport wagon body style
  • Manual or automatic
  • Youthful orientation
  • Available AWD

2006 Pontiac Vibe Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Pontiac launched its entry-level Vibe hatchback wagon as an early 2003 model. Styled by Pontiac and engineered by Toyota, the Vibe is produced at a Toyota/General Motors joint-venture facility in Fremont, Calif. Pontiac's Vibe is related to the Toyota Matrix.

Like other small crossover models, the Vibe combines some features of a sports car, a sport wagon and a sport utility vehicle. That sounds like a lot of sportiness, and the Vibe leans in that direction because Pontiac has long been positioned as the sportiest member of the GM divisions.

For 2006, a stereo system with MP3 playback capability and a Sport Package that includes a premium monotone appearance group are available. Security and Premium Packages also are offered. A Sun and Sound Package, which includes a sunroof and Monsoon sound system, replaces last year's Moon and Tunes Value Package.

Designed to target youthful buyers, the Vibe comes with front- or all-wheel drive. A tire-pressure-monitoring system is standard on GT and all-wheel-drive models, and GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system is available. GM's OnStar communication system is optional.


Exterior
Exhibiting a sleek wedge profile and short overhangs, the Vibe displays basic styling cues that suggest an SUV. A slight resemblance to the company's controversial and now-defunct Aztek may be noted, but the Vibe is considerably less radical.

Tapering side window lines are reminiscent of the Ford Focus Wagon. The disti...
Vehicle Overview
Pontiac launched its entry-level Vibe hatchback wagon as an early 2003 model. Styled by Pontiac and engineered by Toyota, the Vibe is produced at a Toyota/General Motors joint-venture facility in Fremont, Calif. Pontiac's Vibe is related to the Toyota Matrix.

Like other small crossover models, the Vibe combines some features of a sports car, a sport wagon and a sport utility vehicle. That sounds like a lot of sportiness, and the Vibe leans in that direction because Pontiac has long been positioned as the sportiest member of the GM divisions.

For 2006, a stereo system with MP3 playback capability and a Sport Package that includes a premium monotone appearance group are available. Security and Premium Packages also are offered. A Sun and Sound Package, which includes a sunroof and Monsoon sound system, replaces last year's Moon and Tunes Value Package.

Designed to target youthful buyers, the Vibe comes with front- or all-wheel drive. A tire-pressure-monitoring system is standard on GT and all-wheel-drive models, and GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system is available. GM's OnStar communication system is optional.


Exterior
Exhibiting a sleek wedge profile and short overhangs, the Vibe displays basic styling cues that suggest an SUV. A slight resemblance to the company's controversial and now-defunct Aztek may be noted, but the Vibe is considerably less radical.

Tapering side window lines are reminiscent of the Ford Focus Wagon. The distinctive roofline has an integrated roof rack. Bold features include a vented front fascia with a twin-port grille and recessed fog lamps.

The Vibe measures 171.9 inches long, stands 62.2 inches tall and has a 102.4-inch wheelbase. Standard wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-inch wheels are available. All-wheel-drive Vibes have an independent rear suspension.


Interior
The Vibe can seat five occupants; it was developed to yield a spacious interior within a compact frame. Both the front passenger seat and the 60/40-split rear seat fold flat, creating a level load floor for cargo up to 8 feet long. When the backseat is folded down, cargo space behind the front row totals 54.1 cubic feet. Leather seating surfaces are optional.

Chrome-trimmed gauges in the driver-oriented cockpit feature the traditional red Pontiac backlighting. Chrome tie-downs are installed, and a CD player is standard. An in-dash six-CD changer and XM Satellite Radio are optional.


Under the Hood
The base 126-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder teams with a standard five-speed-manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. With all-wheel drive, that engine produces 118 hp and works only with the automatic. The Vibe GT holds a 164-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder that teams only with a six-speed-manual gearbox. Premium fuel is recommended for the GT. For extra performance, a dealer-installed supercharger has been available for the base model.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard on all-wheel-drive and GT models and optional on the base front-drive Vibe. The Vibe GT gets all-disc brakes, while other models use a front-disc/rear-drum setup. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain-type airbags are optional.


Latest 2006 Vibe Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Has NEVER let me down

by jsm4077th from Reidsville,nc on April 10, 2018

this car gets great gas mileage and has never let me down. upkeep is cheap and the MPG is amazing. I have driven this car all over the eastern seaboard. If my family had stayed small i would never ... Read full review

(5.0)

Reliable. Great on gas. 36MPG

by Nance from Keene, NH on January 14, 2018

I have loved this car for almost 12 years. I usually trade after 8-10 years. I did not want to give up this car. I would like to sell to someone who needs a reliable car to get to work or school. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2006 Pontiac Vibe currently has 3 recalls

NHTSA Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2006 Pontiac Vibe Base

NHTSA rates vehicles using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Overall Rollover Rating
4 Star
Driver's
5 Star
Passenger's
4 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver
3 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
4 Star
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Vibe received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker